Sunday, October 5, 2014

This week in my Speech-Language therapy: Apps and activities

The past few weeks in therapy, I have spent a lot of time working on categorization. I'm starting the year working through the Expanding Expression Tool with a lot of my caseload, a visual tool to help increase the accurate description of objects. The first bead prompts students to tell the group, and I find my students have a difficult time with this task, even those who have practice with the EET in the past.

I also have several students working on expected and unexpected behavior, and my third and fourth graders are learning an idiom every week, too. Here are just a few of the things I've worked on this week!

We do have a list of the Top Ten apps for Categorization, but most of my students can complete this level. I use two apps to go deeper to sub-categories and abstract categories to really expand their vocabulary knowledge and expression.

Category Therapy - Speech Rehab for Categories
This is my go-to app in therapy, as it provides three levels and four different activities to address this weakness in my students. It was created to use with adults, but I find it absolutely perfect to use, even with my kindergarten students. Most of the week I used the Add One activity, asking students to first verbally name the category represented by three items and then choose which picture should be added. Most of my students were able to move to the Hard (Abstract) level this week with increasing accuracy.

iPad/iPhone - $14.99

Category Carousel
I did use this app with a few of my groups with lower vocabulary. They take turns labeling pictures and choosing the category. It provides a choice of category, from 2-6, which is nice for my students with really limited categorization ability. After each group has a few items, we then move on to sub-categorization. Within animals, the pictures can be further sorted into type of animal, and so on.

iPad/iPhone - $9.99

I've finally got myself organized enough to have an Idiom of the Week bulletin board (though it seems I'm taking two weeks for each idiom!) As students in third and fourth grade come into the speech room, they start the session by writing a quick definition and sentence for a new idiom. This pack from Teachers Pay Teachers for the Idiom of the Week has everything all set up, which is what I need to make it work.

I continue to use Articulation Station for my kids working on speech sounds. But for some of my kids with motor planning difficulties in articulation, I've been using the FREE materials from the Testy yet trying blog. I spent one day printing most of the card sets on cardstock, laminating them and cutting them all out. But it's paying off, because I find them very effective for my students. Each card also has a 2 word phrase associated with it.

My social skills groups are progressing through understanding expected and unexpected behavior. We used Expected and Unexpected Behaviors at School from Teachers Pay Teachers, and the students especially like acting out the unexpected and expected actions.

Give Me 5!!!!! Social Skills 
This is a new app in my therapy room, and I've really liked the feedback provided when an answer is correct. I have the students tell me verbally before they select yes or no to the question prompt, and then (most importantly) WHY they think the scene was expected (yes) or unexpected (no). The built-in game dropping the disc to the bottom of the board is fun and reinforcing for most students, too. The situations cover eight different categories of social situations, and the video modeling is wonderful.

iPad/iPhone - currently $3.99 (regularly $7.99)

Ellie has also done a video demonstration of this app, to check it out before you buy it!

These are just a few of the things I've done this week in my therapy room. Share your favorite therapy apps and activities with me!

Heather H still needs to finish planning for the next week. 

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